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Yucatan Shrimp

Achiote (ah-she-O-tay) is a paste that figures prominently in the cooking of the Yucatan Peninsula, where it is used as a marinade for meats. It comes in a small block that looks like Sculpey clay. I like it because the color is the orangey-red of a dramatic sunset and the flavor has the appealing characteristic of being very subtle yet very persistent and permeating. (It reminds me a little of iodine.) The principal ingredient is annatto seeds, which are used as a dye in butter and cheddar cheese.

Type: Main Course
Courses: Fish, Shellfish
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs 681g / 24ozJumbo shrimp - peeled, deveined
3 1/2 oz 99gAchiote paste - ( 1/2 block)
2 tablespoons 30mlOrange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon 5mlGrated orange zest
2 tablespoons 30mlOlive oil
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlGround cumin
1 teaspoon 5mlSalt
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlFreshly-ground black pepper
  Fresh lime wedges - for serving

Recipe Instructions

Prepare the shrimp and place them in a gallon-size resealable plastic storage bag. Refrigerate.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, mashing the achiote with a fork at first to break it up, then whisking it in. Pour over the shrimp and combine well. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably a couple of hours.

Grill over a very hot grill, 3 to 4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Serve immedately with lime wedges.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 07-05-2001


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